Section 3.5.2 regards marriage in a temple for time only.
To be married for time only in a temple is not required for salvation. It really is just a nice service the church offers. I do not agree with the rules the CHI sets up for allowing or disallowing a couple to receive a for time marriage in the temple. If you see the opportunity as an actual blessing of God associated with this practice then you should be even more bothered about the way the CHI regulates it.
The CHI states that for time marriages can only be performed when all 4 of these requirements are met.
The man and woman must both be sealed to spouses who have died.
They must have valid temple recommends.
Temple marriages are legal marriages in the country where the temple is located and the couple has sold their marriage to the state via the marriage license process (I am paraphrasing here but you get the idea and we have beat that horse pretty good in CHI #3).
I save the best for last.
Neither the man nor the woman has been involved in any divorce while a member of the Church.
I am sure there is a very logical reason why the Church wishes to stigmatize or simply categorically judge all church members who have divorced while church members as unworthy of this little blessing.
And perhaps it could be said that this policy is not a stigma upon divorced people. That it is only so the church doesn’t have to review each case of divorce to meet some special standard. But that makes no sense. All recommend holders are equally worthy right? Worthiness is a threshold principle not a matter of degrees. Maybe they don’t want complaints from former spouses etc. But again why deprive one member for the possible actions of another?
No I don’t think we can escape that this requirement of the CHI is a form of passing a negative judgment upon LDS who divorce. And even if you came up with a reason why you believe that it is not a form of passing negative judgment the reality remains that this rule works an evil. How?
Since there is no explanation whatever given and the policy is to be enforced by the judges in Israel without even a possibility for exceptions, it absolutely places a prejudice in the minds of those brethren. And this prejudice permeates the beliefs of the members of the church.
I think you can see it prevents righteous judgment by these men. Now if you believe that all divorces indicate evil doing on the part of both persons then you probably agree with this CHI rule. And if you are a member of the LDS church you may very well believe that. But can you see that such a belief runs 100% counter to the words of Christ? He said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
As church members we very often believe that the prophets say, “If you will make your first concern the comfort, the well-being, and the happiness of your companion, sublimating any personal concern to that loftier goal, you will be happy, and your marriage will go on through eternity”. In fact that is a quote from Gordon B Hinckley. It was quoted in “Graduates Receive Challenge from Prophet,” Church News, 6 May 1995, 11. Did I get that wrong or did he say there would not be divorce?
Well that passes belief Gordon B. Hinckley did say that. But I will give President Hinckley some slack on this one and say he was not speaking as a prophet there. I say he was just making some remarks to graduates as a man because in a general conference session he spoke and said something a little different. He said, “If every husband and every wife would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his or her companion, there would be very little, if any, divorce.” (The Women in Our Lives,” Ensign, Nov 2004, 82–85)
I have heard numerous LDS members quote that phrase as if it said, “there would be no divorce.” But he didn’t say “no divorce.” Good for President Hinckley for saying that even when we do all we can to be righteous, divorce is possible.
But President Hinckley’s carefully worded talk did not change the prevailing belief among LDS which is supported and strengthen by talks and counsel from priesthood leaders. We are taught to believe that if a man “would constantly do whatever might be possible to ensure the comfort and happiness of his” wife, there would be no divorce. I know I grew up (born in the covenant) thoroughly believing that.
But why did I think that? Well because I have been taught all my life about how special women are that they are just naturally more righteous than men. And so if you married a temple worthy sister and did all in your power to obey God and to please her and treat her well then divorce would not be a part of your life. This is discussed in the book Sex at Dawn as being a very strong Victorian age idea. And we all know it remains entrenched in the teachings of the LDS church. Well I really did believe it and counted on it to be true.
Even if your belief isn’t as extreme as mine was most LDS people still have incorporated in their beliefs a form of prejudice against members who divorce. It ends up in our minds that if there was a divorce both were at fault to some degree. It takes two to tango, we say. So when we see a prejudice against divorced people we feel it is justified. I of my own self know better, now.
Do you think a woman who is beat by her husband and screamed at and called all sorts of foul vicious names by him, a woman who is belittled and falsely accused by him hour upon hour, day after day and accused falsely before her fellow church members and priesthood leaders behind her back and then he lies to her adult children about her and turns them against her, do you think it is a sin for her to divorce him? What if he pulled a knife on her and told her not to come near him because she was so evil? What if he accused her of always praying to the devil and the devil was her best friend whom she loved and she had never ever prayed to God? Do you think she should be denied to be married for time in a temple because she experienced this and then he demanded she divorce him and she trying to please him did get a divorce from him?
I don’t believe she has done any wrong. But apparently the Church does. What do you think of such a woman?
Now what do you think if it was a woman that did those things to her husband? Do you find such a thing harder to believe than it being a man that did those things? It is a good check of your personal sex bias to answer that.
It may seem I have gone off on a tangent. But the point is the CHI has by this rule placed a bias in the minds of the judges of Israel against people who have been divorced. I think it is wrong. I think God thinks it is wrong.